Decided on August 03,1953



Govinda Menon, J. - (1.) These are appeals by the State under Section 417, Criminal P. C. against the acquittal of the respective respondents for an offence under Section 250 read with Section 313, Madras District Municipalities Act by the First Class Bench Court of Cuddalore O. T. The question raised in each one of them is identical and so all the cases can be dealt with together by one and the same judgment.
(2.) The Sanitary Inspector of the Cuddalore Municipality filed complaints against each of the respondents on the ground that each one of them had installed and worked an oil engine of 5 H. P. in agricultural lands without obtaining a licence from the Municipality. The defence was that under Section 250, Madras District Municipalities Act no licence was necessary, because the section does not apply to the installation and working of oil engines in agricultural land. The Bench of Magistrates relied upon a judgment of our learned brother Panchapakesa Aiyar J. in -- 'Venkatachala v. Executive Officer, Rasipuram Panchayat Board', (A), where, interpreting Section 194(1)(b), Madras Local Boards Act, which is exactly in the same terms as Section 250(1)(b), District Municipalities Act, he held that no licence is necessary for installing an oil engine in a field-well for irrigation purposes. Following this decision, the Bench of Magistrates held that there was no installation in any premises in the cases in question and therefore acquitted all the accused. The State has preferred the above appeals, objecting to the acquittal of the various respondents.
(3.) When these appeals came up for hearing before Krishnaswami Nayudu J. the learned Public Prosecutor argued that even the installation of machinery and oil engine in a paddy-field within the municipal limits would come within the meaning of the section. It was argued before the learned Judge that the word "premises" includes land and everything appurtenant thereto and therefore when any machinery is installed on land, ie., on 'terra forma', there must be a licence as required under the Act. The learned Judge was of opinion that the decision of panchapakesa Aiyar J. required reconsider ration and therefore referred the matter to a Bench.;

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